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Vatican bank sees almost no profit for 2013

Vatican City
Vatican City
DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Attributed largely to a clean-up process as Pope Francis has sought to stamp out corruption in the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican bank has seen the end of relationships with some 3,000 customers and a significant decrease in profit.

Pope Francis pledged to clean up the bank after accusations of money laundering and processes that allowed non-religious businessment to hold accounts.

The Financial Times notes, that the Vatican's financial operations have come under scrutiny in recent years. See, Profits plunge at Vatican bank.

According to Bloomberg, Pope Francis plans to replace the board and executives at the Vatican Bank after a year of reorganization at the scandal-plagued institution in which more than 2,000 accounts were blocked and profit dropped 97 percent.

Australian Cardinal-Prefect George Pell who heads the Secretariat of the Economy said, “With the support of the Holy Father and the Council of Cardinals, we are creating simpler, more efficient structures for those serving the mission of the Catholic Church.”

Reuters reports that, "French businessman Jean-Baptise de Franssu is expected to be named as the new head and the Holy See's assets are expected to be managed by a newly created department, the sources said."

According to The Wall Street Journal, "Pope Francis, who was elected in March 2013, initially suggested he might close the bank but earlier this year decided to keep it open, ruling that its focus is to provide financial services to its clients, which range from the Swiss guards who protect the pope, to priests and nuns, global religious orders and Vatican employees."